In a bid to control the proliferation of arms, which has contributed in no small measure to the surge in kidnapping, banditry, militancy and insurgency in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of Centre for the Control of small arms and light weapons.

This was announced by the National Security Adviser(NSA), Babangana Monguno, who said the centre would be domiciled under the Office of the NSA, as efforts are ongoing to give it a legal backing. He likened the centre to other sister-organisations like counter insurgency and cybersecurity centres, both of which are equally domiciled in his office.

Babangana Monguno, National Security Adviser(NSA)

According to him, the centre will operate in conformity with already laid down international standards and ECOWAS Protocols on the control of small arms and light weapons. When in full operation, the centre will be in full control of inflow of these weapons while also working on mopping up and disposing those already in use.

Also, the agency will focus on arms coming from across the borders, especially within the West African sub-region and through the maritime corridor. The president has also directed that there should be a synergy between the armed forces and the intelligence agencies in making the paramilitary organizations to work. For effective coordination, the NSA will deploy the use of drones to patrol the vast coastal and border lines where bandits hide to attack. If the centre is intended to work, security stakeholders have maintained that a thorough mop up exercise must be carried out in South Kaduna, Northwest, Northeast, North central and South south regions of the country.

John Daniel Obioma.

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